Folder and Document Management

Overview

Appian allows you to view and create four types of folders: rule folders, process model folders, knowledge centers, and document folders. This page explains how to create and manage these types of folders (as well as documents in document folders) within your applications.

Managing folders

In Appian, you can create, update, and delete folders and their contents in Appian Designer or an application view. In addition, knowledge centers and document folders can be managed through a variety of Document Management smart services.

Creating folders

To create a new folder of any type:

  1. From the application view, click the New menu button and select Folder.

    /FoldersAndDocuments CreateFolderMenu

  2. Select the type of folder and enter the name, description, and parent folder (required for document folders).
  3. Click Create.

    /FoldersAndDocuments CreateFolder

Deleting folders

Folders can be deleted by users with Administrator permission to them. To delete a folder:

  1. Go to an application that contains the folder.

    If you are a Basic user, the folder must be empty before you can delete it.

  2. Select the folder in the grid and click the Delete button in the grid toolbar.

    System Administrators can delete folders (and other objects) in bulk by selecting them and clicking Delete in the toolbar. In this case, folder contents will automatically be deleted when the folder is deleted.

Viewing and modifying folder contents and properties

In the objects and application views, you can search or filter for folders. Another quick way to find a top-level folder is to switch to the hierarchical view.

To see the contents of a folder, click on the folder name.

The annotated image above shows a folder view.

  1. Breadcrumbs: Display the folder hierarchy (including all parent folders of the current folder) and allow developers to navigate between folders and subfolders. Click on any folder name within the breadcrumbs to navigate to it.
  2. Gear menu: Provides developers with relevant actions which can be taken on the current folder, including viewing and editing the folder’s Properties, Security settings, or location. In the example below, any selected gear menu action will be applied to the VM Category Icons folder.
  3. New button: Allows developers to create new objects within the current folder. The type of objects you can create depends on the type of folder you're viewing.
  4. Toolbar: Allows developers to take actions on selected objects located within the current folder.
    • Move button: Allows developers to move selected objects between folders.

/FoldersAndDocuments FolderViewGearMenu

Setting and editing folder security

Folder security determines which groups can access and modify a folder, its properties, and any objects within it that inherit security.

Developers can set and edit folder security in two ways:

  • From within Appian Designer or an application view, select a folder, then click the Security toolbar button.
  • From within a folder view, click the gear menu and select Security in the dropdown list.

See Editing Object Security to learn more about how to edit folder security. See the relevant folder sections to learn more about their different security settings:

Rule folders

Rule folders can only contain the following object types:

Rule folders always inherit security from their parent rule folder if they have one. Security can be set on a rule folder, as well as set on each object located within that rule folder. By default, a rule folder’s security is inherited by all objects located within it.

The security role map of a rule folder controls which users can see or modify it, its properties, and its contents that inherit security. See Editing Object Security to modify a rule folder’s security.

The following table outlines the actions that can be completed for each permission level in a rule folder’s security role map. This table assumes that objects within the rule folder inherit security (default). If an object does not inherit the folder’s security, then the object’s individual security role map applies.

Actions Administrator Editor Viewer Deny
View the rule folder Yes Yes Yes No
Create objects in the rule folder Yes Yes No No
View the security Yes Yes No No
Update the security Yes No No No
Delete the rule folder Yes No No No

Process model folders

Process model folders can only contain process models and process model subfolders.

Process model folder security is not inherited by the process models or process model subfolders located within them. Security must be set on each process model and process model subfolder individually.

The security role map of a process model folder controls which users can see or modify it and its properties. See Editing Object Security to modify a process model folder’s security.

The following table outlines the actions that can be completed for each permission level in a process model folder’s security role map. This table only applies to the security of process model folders. Process models within the folder have individual security role maps.

Actions Administrator Editor Viewer Deny
View the process model folder Yes Yes Yes No
Create objects in the process model folder Yes Yes No No
View the security Yes No No No
Update the security Yes No No No
Delete the process model folder Yes No No No

Knowledge centers

Knowledge centers are containers for folders and their files. They can contain only document folders and documents. The System and Temporary Documents Knowledge Centers are system knowledge centers available by default in Appian Designer.

System knowledge center

The System Knowledge Center is used to store system documents, including:

By default, all users have Viewer permission to this knowledge center.

Temporary documents knowledge center

The Temporary Documents Knowledge Center is used to store system and process objects in transition. Files that are uploaded using the file upload component are temporarily stored in this knowledge center, but they cannot be accessed or viewed from the user interface.

By default, all users have Editor permission to this knowledge center.

Setting the security on a knowledge center allows you to define security for all the folders and files inside of it. By default, knowledge center security is inherited by the document folders and documents within it.

If a knowledge center has a parent community (a deprecated folder object), it and its content inherit the community's security. If the security of the community and the knowledge center conflict, the community's security takes precedence.

The security role map of a knowledge center controls which users can see or modify it, its properties, and its contents. See Editing Object Security to modify a knowledge center’s security.

The following table outlines the actions that can be completed for each permission level in a knowledge center’s security role map. This table assumes that objects within the knowledge center inherit security (default). If an object does not inherit the knowledge center’s security, then the object’s individual security role map applies.

Actions Administrator Editor Viewer Deny
View the knowledge center Yes Yes Yes No
Create new documents or move documents into a subfolder under the knowledge center (must have at least Editor permissions to the subfolder) Yes Yes Yes No
Create new subfolders in the knowledge center Yes Yes No No
View the security Yes Yes No No
Update the security Yes No No No
Move and delete subfolders Yes No No No
Move and delete the knowledge center Yes No No No

Knowledge center security can also be updated using the Modify KC Security Smart Service. Note that the security permission levels Author and Reader in the smart service correspond to Editor and Viewer respectively.

Document folders

Document folders can contain subfolders and documents, and must reside in a parent folder or knowledge center.

Document folders inherit security from their parent folder or knowledge center by default.

The security role map of a document folder controls which users can see or modify it, its properties, and its contents. See Editing Object Security to modify a document folder’s security.

The following table outlines the actions that can be completed for each permission level in a document folder’s security role map.

Actions Administrator Editor Viewer Deny
View the document folder Yes Yes Yes No
View and download documents that reside in the document folder Yes Yes Yes No
Update documents that reside in the document folder Yes Yes No No
Create new subfolders and documents in the document folder * Yes Yes No No
View the security Yes Yes No No
Update the security Yes No No No
Move subfolders or documents into the document folder * Yes No No No
View download metrics for documents that reside in the document folder Yes No No No
Move documents out of the document folder Yes No No No
Move and delete the document folder Yes No No No

Note: To create new folders and documents within a document folder, you must have at least Viewer permissions to all of the folders and knowledge centers that the document folder resides in. This also applies when moving folders and documents into a document folder.

Managing documents

A document object is any file of any file type that you upload to Appian. All documents must be saved in document folders. They cannot be saved directly into knowledge centers.

Documents can be managed in Appian Designer and through a variety of Document Management smart services. This page focuses on managing documents within Appian Designer.

Creating documents

There are multiple ways to create new documents, including:

In Appian Designer, you can create new documents (up to 25 at a time) or upload zip files.

To create a new document:

  1. From the application view or document folder view, click New and select Document.
  2. Upload up to 25 files.
    • Files cannot be larger than your disk quota.
    • Files cannot be larger than 1GB in size.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Enter the file names and descriptions, and select the parent folder.
    • The file name must be at least four characters long (including the three character file extension, such as .doc).
    • The following characters are not allowed in document names: \ / ; : | ? ' < > *
    • If you include the file extension in the name, make sure it matches the file type by which the file was saved. If the extension in the name does not match with the uploaded file, it may not display properly.
  5. Select whether to Create constants for these documents using the checkbox.
    • When enabled, one constant will be created per file. Constants will be added to your current application and its corresponding rule folder. If your application does not contain a rule folder, one will automatically be created and the constants will be added to it.
  6. Click Create.

/FoldersAndDocuments CreateDocumentDropdown

/FoldersAndDocuments CreateDocuments

Documents always inherit security from their parent folder.

See document folder security to learn more about the permission levels required for creating, editing, and downloading documents.

Adding new document versions

Once a document has been created, new versions of it can be uploaded at any time. See Managing Object Versions to learn more about viewing and comparing document versions.

To upload a new version of a document:

  1. From the application view, select the document.
  2. Click More and select the New Version option.
  3. Select the new version of the file from your local machine.
  4. You can keep the file name listed in the Name field, or modify it as needed. The file name must be at least four characters long.

    The file extension of the newly uploaded document must match the file extension of the originally uploaded file.

  5. (Optional) Edit the description of the file. The description can be viewed in the document properties.
  6. Click Upload.

If the document is locked, a warning banner on the Upload New Version dialog will appear. Proceeding with the upload will break the other user's lock on the document.

/FoldersAndDocuments DocumentNewVersionDropdown

/FoldersAndDocuments UploadNewVersionDocument

Viewing document properties

To view a document’s properties you must have at least Viewer permissions to the document and its parent folder. To edit a document’s properties you must have at least Editor permissions to the document and its parent folder.

To view or edit a document’s properties:

  1. From Appian Designer or the application view, select the folder or document.
  2. Click More and select the Properties option.

/FoldersAndDocuments DocumentPropertiesDropdown

/FoldersAndDocuments ViewDocumentProperties

The View users who have downloaded this file link displays a list of the users who have downloaded the document. You must have Administrator permissions to the document in order to access this link.

Deleting documents

A user must have Administrator permissions to the document and its folder in order to delete it. Deleting a document removes the specific file and all of its previous versions.

To delete a document:

  1. Select the document in Appian Designer or the application view.
  2. Click Delete.
  3. Confirm that the document has no dependents and click Delete again.

/FoldersAndDocuments DeleteDocument

Document hierarchies

Moving documents and folders in your document hierarchy

You can move folders or documents within knowledge centers or other folders if you have Administrator permissions to the source parent folder and at least Editor permissions to the destination parent folder or knowledge center.

To move a folder or document:

  1. Select the folder or document in Appian Designer, the application view, or the document folder view.
  2. Select the Move button on the toolbar.
  3. Select the Destination knowledge center or folder.
  4. Click Move.

When you move a folder or document, Appian retains the history of previous versions.

/FoldersAndDocuments MoveDocumentToolbar

/FoldersAndDocuments MoveDocument

Downloading document hierarchies

You can download the contents of entire knowledge centers and folders if you have at least Viewer permissions to them.

You can download document hierarchies in two ways:

  1. From within Appian Designer or an application view, select the knowledge centers, folders, or documents you want to download, click the More toolbar button, and select Download.
  2. From within a folder view, click on the gear menu next to the folder name and select Download in the dropdown.

The files and folders selected for download are packaged in a ZIP file and retain the hierarchy they had in Appian.

Uploading document hierarchies into Appian

The document folder view in Appian designer allows you to upload a ZIP file of a document hierarchy. Uploading this zip will create document folders and documents in Appian in the exact structure as the folders and files are inside the ZIP. This is useful when you need to create many documents at once or have a folder structure you want to bring into Appian.

You must have at least Editor permissions to the document folder in order to upload a ZIP. You must also have at least Viewer permissions to all of the folders and knowledge centers that the document folder resides in.

To upload a document hierarchy:

  1. Compress your files into a ZIP format archive.
  2. Navigate to the document folder that you'd like this hierarchy to be created in.
  3. Click Upload ZIP.
  4. Select the ZIP archive from your computer. Click Upload.

Any special characters used in filenames by files in your ZIP archive are replaced with hyphen (-) characters upon upload.

/FoldersAndDocuments UploadZipToolbar

/FoldersAndDocuments UploadZip

Managing process reports

Process reports are stored as documents in Appian, as Appian Report Files (.arf). They can be created, edited, and moved between document folders just like document objects.

Open in Github Built: Fri, Sep 17, 2021 (04:05:09 PM)

On This Page

FEEDBACK